Missoula flooding intensifies, Clark Fork River to crest at 14.1 feet

Posted at 3:27 PM, May 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 15:01:08-04

MISSOULA – The Clark Fork River above Missoula is expected to crest late Friday evening or early Saturday at 14.1 feet and are expected to stay at those levels through the weekend.

Missoula is now experiencing water levels not seen since the 1970s. River levels are high, currents are fast and debris is widespread.

Approximately 60 homes in the Orchard Homes area were told by the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office to evacuate on Tuesday. Three homes on south Harpers Bridge Road were issued similar evacuation orders on Thursday night as well as a pair of homes on Hamel Road in Frenchtown.

The Sheriff’s Office has set up roadblocks in the Orchard Homes area as well as on Harpers Bridge Road and Hamel Road. Residents who are under an evacuation order will not be allowed back in past the roadblocks.

Residents around the evacuation area are still strongly advised to make emergency preparations to evacuate, as flood waters are expected to continue to rise. Evacuees should check in at the information trailer set up in the Wheat Montana parking lot on the corner of 3rd and Reserve streets.

An evacuation order is now in effect for the following areas:

  • Tower Street, north of 3rd Street
  • Kehrwald Drive
  • Channel Drive
  • Nancy Lou Drive
  • Keck Street and Stone Street – north of Flamingo Drive
  • Schmidt Road
  • Off Mullan Road
  • South Harpers Bridge Road
  • Hamel Road

Road Closures:

  • Tower Street will be closed to all traffic
  • Nancy Lou Drive will be closed to all traffic
  • Stone Street, north of Flamingo Drive will be closed to all traffic
  • Schmidt Road will be closed to all traffic
  • Harpers Bridge Road
  • Hamel Road

FWP site closures on the Clark Fork River:

  • Sha-Ron
  • Kelly Island (all access points)
  • Kona
  • Deep Creek
  • Harpers Bridge
  • Council Grove State Park

Missoula County has set up a sandbagging station and central resources hub at the Orchard Homes Country Life Club and Missoula County Public Works delivered 2,500 more sandbags there on Thursday.

Volunteers can help with sandbagging efforts from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday as well as from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Check in with a Team Rubicon representative upon arrival. Volunteers must have current health insurance to help with sandbagging. A second sandbagging station in Missoula has been set up at C.S. Porter Middle School.

Monetary donations can be made through United Way of Missoula County to go toward purchasing sand. Sandbagging operations will continue depending on availability of sand, sandbags and volunteers.

A shelter for evacuees in Missoula is available at Christ the King Church, which is located at 1400 Gerald Avenue. Residents seeking shelter should call 1-800-272-6668.

A flood information line, 258-INFO, is staffed Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Callers will hear an updated recording after hours. A public information trailer is set up at the Wheat Montana parking lot is staffed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Information is posted after hours.